Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Apple Cherry Tart

Love this. So easy and so good. It almost makes me thing I'm eating something good for me.
The topping makes this, it really does.

Apple Cherry Tart

Crumb Topping:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 cup backed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup pecans, chopped


1 refrigerated pie crust

2 large Granny Smith apples

1 can (19 oz) cherry pie filling, divided

Preheat oven to 400 F.

For topping, in a bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Blend thoroughly. Chop pecans, add to bowl. Mix well; set aside.

Roll pastry on floured board or 13 inch circle. Place on round pizza stone or a cookie sheet.

Peel, core and slice apples. Cut slices crosswise in half; layer apples evenly over crust to within 1 inch of edge of crust. Spread 1/2 cup of pie filling over apples; sprinkle topping over top.

Fold outer edge of pastry over filling to form rim (Pastry will cover outer edge of filling only). Bake 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly.

To serve, cut with Slice 'N Serve . Serve warm with ice cream and remaining pie filling.

Yield:12 servings

Moo Shu Sloppy Joes

This is my new favorite meal. Hands down. LOVED THIS. Healthy, tasty, cheap...the trifecta of yumm. Try it. You'll love it.

Moo Shu Sloppy Joes

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, sliced
1 small sweet red pepper, sliced
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
3 cups coleslaw mix
8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, water, barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and salt until blended; set aside.
In a large skillet, saute onion and red pepper in oil until crisp-tender; remove and set aside. In the same skillet, cook beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add coleslaw mix; stir to coat. Spoon meat mixture into the center of each tortilla; top with onion mixture. Roll up tightly. Yield: 4 servings.

*NOTE: I used ground turkey in this recipe.

Nutrition Facts: 2 wraps equals 454 calories, 17 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 1,387 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bailey's Irish Cream White Chocolate Cheesecake

This was soooo good! Creamy with just the right amount of irish cream to add flavor and something different to a traditional cheesecake. I did leave the white chocolate chunks on the larger side so one could actually taste them in the cheesecake. MMMMMMM!


10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces

1 1/4 c. pecans, about 5 oz.

1/4 c. sugar

6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter 9" diameter spring form pan with 2 3/4" high sides. Finely grind graham crackers, pecans and sugar in processor or chopper. Add butter and blend using on/off turns. Press crumbs onto bottom and sides of pan, refrigerate for 20 minutes.

1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 c. sugar

3 lg. eggs

1/3 c. Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur

1 tsp. vanilla

3 oz. white chocolate morsels

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Whisk eggs, Bailey's and vanilla in medium bowl until just blended. Beat egg mixture into cream cheese mixture. Finely chop white chocolate and add to the cream cheese mixture.
Transfer filling to the crust lined pan. Bake until edges are puffed and dry looking and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

1 1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 1/2 oz. white chocolate, chopped or grated

24 pecan halves

Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl. Spread onto cooled cake. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 6 hours. Garnish with grated chocolate and place pecan halves around edge.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These are a cross between a pumpkin muffin and cheesecake! Perfect with coffee. Love it!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

1 pkg. (2-layer size) spice cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

HEAT oven to 350ºF.
PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Add dry pudding mix and pumpkin; mix well. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
BEAT cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in sugar and egg; spoon over batter. Swirl gently with small spoon.
BAKE 18 to 21 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tex-mex Chili

I made this for my annual Christmas party and people loved it! It was mildly spicey. Just perfect.

Tex-mex chili

3 pounds beef stew meat
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
3/4 cup salsa verde
1 envelope chili seasoning
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese and minced fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, brown beef in oil in batches. Add garlic to the pan; cook and stir for 1 minute. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Garnish each serving with cheese and cilantro. Yield: 12 servings (1-1/3 cups each).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Slap 'Yo Mama Margaritas

Oh lawd. These go down waaaay toooooo smooooth. The best of the best. Trust me.

Slap 'Yo Mama Margaritas

2 cans 7 - up (I actually use Diet Sprite or Sprite Zero, cut back on calories a little... also, I just buy the 2 liter and fill the limemade container up twice)

1 12 oz. can frozen limeade

8 oz tequila (use the good stuff people)

1 bottle Corona beer(no substitutes)

Just dump everything into the QUICK STIR PITCHER (a Pampered Chef product and worth the money!) and plunge. To make it even “slushier”, freeze the 7-up, beer and tequila ahead of time. If you have the family size Quick Stir Pitcher you can make 2-3 batches at once (they go fast!).

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pecan Goody Cups

These didn't quite turn out as perfect as the picture but boy were they good!
Pecan Goody Cups

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
48 pecan halves

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until mixture forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
For filling, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, eggs and butter.
Roll dough into 1-in. balls. Press onto the bottoms and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Spoon filling into cups; top each with a pecan half.
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Yield: 4 dozen.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

This was yummy! Dense and sweet, it's the perfect treat to have with a cup of coffee or tea.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, divided

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into one portion. In a well-greased 10-in. fluted tube pan, sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans. Spoon chocolate batter over pecans; top with pumpkin batter. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Bake at 325° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 12 servings.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

These were soooo good!! I LOVE the cream cheese base vs. the cream of whatever soup. The medium salsa and chopped green chiles added some extra flavor and kick. I'll make these again for sure!

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup salsa (I used medium)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast meat
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
6 (6 inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese (I used taco cheese)
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can of enchilada sauce (I used an 8oz jar)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream cheese and salsa. Cook, stirring until melted and well blended. Stir in chicken and pinto beans. Pour small amount of enchilada sauce in bottom of dish, enough to cover. Fill tortillas with the mixture, roll and place into the prepared baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas. Spread cheese over the top. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with your favorite toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes, or sour cream.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ ribs

Wow...these were sooooo good and TENDER. They fell off the bone when trying to get them outta the crock pot. I strained the sauce after cooking, added 1 Tblsp of flour and brought to a boil to thicken it. Served with the ribs. DELISH!

"Secret's in the sauce" BBQ ribs

2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 4-1/2 pounds)
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
2-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
3/4 cup cherry preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; sprinkle with pepper. Place in a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over ribs.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with sauce. Yield: 5 servings

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Slow cooker Lasagna

This was REALLY good and REALLY easy! It also leaves plenty of room to doctor it up to your liking. I use ground turkey and next time will let it cook on low only 4 hours because I felt the noodles were too soft at about 5 1/2 hours out.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
1 container (15 oz.) Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg. (7 oz.)Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 egg
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley.

SPOON 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles, broken to fit; and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.

COOK on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Carmel Glazed Apple Cake

What better way to celebrate fall? The glaze puts this over the top so no skimping! I also substitiuted 1/2 unsweetened applesauce for 1/2 the oil in the recipe. You cannot tell the difference but it saves a lot of fat!

Carmel Glazed Apple Cake

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 granny smith apples or golden delious apples (cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1 1/4 cups pecans or walnuts (chopped)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 13x9 inch baking pan.

To prepare cake Beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, gradually add to egg mixture mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla.Pour into the pan.

Bake for 50-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle turns out clean.Let cool in pan while preparing the glaze.

To prepare glaze melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt.Cook over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Add the cream and boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick Pour on the glaze Serve warm or at room tempature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

HOLY SMOKES! These cookies ROCK! Perfect for a cookie exchange or to take camping like I will be doing ;)

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Per Serving (1 cookie): Cal 135 (6%DV), Fat Cal. 54, Pro. 2g (4%DV), Carb. 18g (6%DV), Fat 6g (9%DV), Chol. 15mg (4%DV), Sod. 138mg (5%DV), Vit. A 47RE (4%DV), Vit. C 0mg (0%DV), Vit. E 1mg (2%DV), Calcium 16mg (1%DV), Iron 1mg (3%DV), Folate 5Ug (1%DV), Zinc <1mg>

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lemon fusilli with Arugula

Oh.My.Lawd. Ina Garten, you are my hero. This dish was Ah-Maze-Ing. I substituted fresh baby spinach for the arugula. So, so, so good.

Lemon fusilli with Arugula

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
3 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch broccoli
1 pound dried fusilli pasta
1/2 pound baby arugula (or 2 bunches of common arugula, leaves cut in thirds)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook for 60 seconds. Add the cream, the zest from 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken.

Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in florets and discard the stem. Cook the florets in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain the broccoli and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the package, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta in a colander and place it back into the pot. Immediately add the cream mixture and cook it over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until most of the sauce has been absorbed in the pasta. Pour the hot pasta into a large bowl, add the arugula, Parmesan, tomatoes, and cooked broccoli. Cut the last lemon in half lengthwise, slice it 1/4-inch thick crosswise, and add it to the pasta. Toss well, season to taste, and serve hot.

Southwestern Bean Patties

These are WONDERFUL! Low fat and full of fiber. I love quacamole so I used it on the burger but you could totally do mustard and ketchup if that's your thing. Pan fry them as they'd never be able to withstand the grill.

Southwestern Bean Patties

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 can (16 ounces) fat-free refried beans
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup cornmeal
6 hamburger buns, split
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup salsa

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion, red pepper and garlic in 1-1/2 teaspoons oil until tender. In a bowl, combine the refried beans, bread crumbs, chilies, cilantro, cumin, pepper and onion mixture; mix well. Shape into six patties; coat in cornmeal.
In the same skillet, cook patties in batches in remaining oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
Place patties on bun bottoms (save bun tops for another use). Top each with 4 teaspoons of guacamole and 4 teaspoons of salsa. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 312 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 801 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 11 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 very lean meat, 1 fat.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Turkey Chili

OH this was sooo good! I think it was the unconventional taco seasoning, salsa and spices that made this so different yet traditional chili. Sound confusing? Try it, it's low fat and YUMMY!

Turkey Chili

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (7 ounce) can salsa
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or coarsely chopped tomatoes packed in puree
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced ( I used yellow)
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble turkey into the pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to break apart as much as possible. Season with taco seasoning mix, coriander, oregano, chili flakes, and tomato paste, and mix until meat is evenly coated with seasonings. Continue cooking, reducing heat if necessary, until turkey is well browned.
Pour in beef broth, and simmer to reduce liquid slightly, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, and green chilies, and continue cooking at a moderate simmer for ten minutes. Adjust the thickness at any time you feel necessary by adding water.
While chili is still cooking, heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and green bell pepper, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent and bell pepper is lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper to the chili, and continue cooking at a very low simmer for at least 3 hours.
Ladle chili into serving bowls. Top with sour cream, green onion, and cheddar cheese, and serve.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pork Medallions in Mustard Sauce

We enjoyed this dish. It came together fairly quick and the sauce was especially tasty.

Pork Medallions in Mustard Sauce

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons thawed apple juice concentrate
4-1/2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

In a small bowl, combine the broth, juice concentrate and mustard; set aside.
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil. Remove and set aside.
Add garlic to the pan; saute for 1 minute. Add reserved broth mixture, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup.
Return pork to the pan; cover and cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3 ounces cooked pork equals 193 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 356 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cornmeal oven fried chicken

You'll NEVER miss the Fry Daddy with this one. Soooo good. Make it with BSCB (boneless/skinless/chicken breasts) for a healthier dinner. The crumb mixture sticks wonderfully to the breasts thanks to the buttermilk. Mmmmmmmmm.

Cornmeal Oven Fried Chicken

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley or 4 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up and skin removed
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first nine ingredients. Place the buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in buttermilk, then add to bag, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes; drizzle with butter. Bake 30-40 minutes longer or until juices run clear. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 244 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 303 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 27 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Double Chocolate Chip Pound Cake


'Nuf said.

Double Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 sm box instant chocolate pudding mix (I use sugar free)
1/2 c sugar
2/3 c water
1/2 c oil
4 eggs
8 oz sour cream
12 oz bag mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 10-cup Bundt pan.

Combine cake mix, pudding mix and sugar. Add water, oil, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream and chips.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 min. Remove and let cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
*Recipe note: I omitted the 1/2 C sugar because I figured that this would be PLENTY sweet enough without it. I was right.

Zucchini Brownies

I hooted out loud when I found this recipe. Finally! A way to get vegetables into my kids! You won't believe how DELICIOUS these brownies are. I used the canned frosting vs. the recipe because I had it on hand. Make these. You will NOT regret it!

Zucchini Brownies

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup margarine
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Yogurt

Ahhhh, nothing says FALL like these pancakes. So yummy, they almost don't need syrup!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Yogurt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin, canned

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, adding yogurt, milk and pumpkin puree. Mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter onto a preheated, oiled griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes slowly over a low-medium heat for approximately 4-6 minutes, flipping after 3 minutes.

recipe courtesy of Sandy-NBBC CFYF board

Sunshine Cake

This was good. Very moist and dense. Just as good two days later as it was the day baked. No oil in this either. You could use egg substitute to lighted the recipe even further!

Sunshine Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges with juice
2 eggs
1 8.25 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 8.25oz can crushed pineapple,undrained
8 oz cool whip


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together and bake in 9 X 13 cake pan (or 2 round pans for a layered cake) for 40 minutes or until cake is done. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Mix pudding and pineapple together. Fold in cool whip and ice on cooled cake (if making a layered cake, using icing in between layers)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Just look at these sweet things! They taste just like a mini pumpkin pie. I'm making them for a baby shower in 2 weeks as they'll be the perfect finger food dessert.
*A note about the recipe: make sure to fill them generously with filling. I noticed that as the pies set overnight, the filling shruk down a bit leaving more of space in the pie cup than I'd like, especially since I'm making them for a shower.
Thanks to Bakerella for the idea.

Pumpkin Pie Bites

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

Note: The used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.

Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Greek chickpea & walnut burgers with Tzatziki sauce

These were AWESOME! There is no way you'd miss meat with these burgers. Don't be turned off by the chick peas. I'm no fan of 'em whole but you'd NEVER know that they were a key component in this dish. The Tzatziki sauce was the icing on the amazing burger. Don't skip this! Delish, delish, delish.

NOTE: I will pan fry these with 2 tblsp of olive oil next time. The grill made it virtually impossible to flip them without doing damage and some of the burgers began to fall apart. They're pretty solid but still fragile.

Greek chickpea & walnut burgers with Tzatziki sauce


2 eggs
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup Greek olives
4 sprigs fresh parsley, stems removed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained


1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup reduced-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, combine the first 11 ingredients; cover and pulse four times. Add chickpeas; pulse until chopped. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Combine the sauce ingredients; refrigerate until serving.
Shape chickpea mixture by 2/3 cupfuls into patties. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160°. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato; top each with 1/4 cup tzatziki sauce. Yield: 5 servings.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

This was OK. I mean it was good but nothing to write home about. It was easy and I used a rotisserie chicken from the store. I don't know if I'd make it again simply because I think there are better enchilada recipes out there.

Chicken and green chile enchiladas

3 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2/3 cup Onion-and-Garlic Mixture
2 (4-oz.) cans chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3 (10-oz.) cans enchilada sauce, divided
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend, divided
8 (9-inch) burrito-size flour tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 425º. Stir together first 4 ingredients, 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, and 1 cup cheese.

2. Spoon about 1/2 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll tortillas up, and place, seam sides down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

3. Bake, covered, at 425° for 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cranberry Pear Salad

I took this salad to a potluck at work. Everyone LOVED it! The dressing really makes the salad so don't skip it!

Cranberry Pear Salad

9 cups torn red leaf lettuce
1 medium pear, chopped
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large serving bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients; shake well. Just before serving, shake dressing and pour over salad; toss to coat. Yield: 13 servings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares

Oh mah goodness, these ROCK! I omitted the nuts 'cuz I didn't have any and the kids don't like 'em anyway. I also cut 3 TBLS off the butter (I know, big deal but every little bit counts). Soooooooooo gooooooood.

Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares

1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
1-1/4 cups fat-free whipped topping
In a large bowl, combine the pie filling, milk and eggs; beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with cake mix and pecans; drizzle with butter.
Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20 servings.

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

This was DELICIOUS! Low fat and so moist. The kids loved it. I'm going to make a few more loaves and freeze them to see how that works out.
Pineapple Zucchini Bread

1-1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the sugar, applesauce, oil, egg whites, egg and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking soda; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in the zucchini, pineapple and walnuts. Transfer to two 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tangy Chicken Sandwiches

I ended up marinating these for about 5 hours. The chicken was very flavorful and moist. It was kind of a lot of work for the sauce but it was good. Next time I'll filet my chicken breasts so they're thinner for the sandwich.

Tangy Chicken Sandwiches

3/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
4-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon taco seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 teaspoons minced chives
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 onion rolls, split and toasted
2 cooked bacon strips
2 slices Colby cheese (3/4 ounce each)
2 lettuce leaves
2 slices tomato
2 slices red onion

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the first five ingredients to a boil; boil, uncovered, for 1 minute. Cool for 10 minutes; set aside 1/4 cup for basting. Flatten chicken to 1/2-in. thickness. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. In a small bowl, combine the blue cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, chives, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and pepper. Spread over roll bottoms; top with the chicken, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. Replace roll tops. Yield: 2 servings.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Southwest Tortilla Pizzas with Easy Spanish Rice

This was really FAST and yummy! Totally filling too. Cheap, fairly nutritious and low fat if you get the FF refried beans, FF tortillas and low fat cheese (non fat cheese melts crappy).

Southwest Tortilla Pizzas

1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
8 flour tortillas (6 inches)
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Place four tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet; spread with bean mixture to within 1/2 in. of the edges. Top with remaining tortillas. Spoon salsa over tops. Sprinkle with pepper, onion and cheese.
Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

The original recipe had the rice cooking for 5 min, then removed from heat to sit covered for another 5 min. Even with instant rice, 5 min is waaay too short of a time for the rice too cook. I'd go by the original package directions and cook it 10-12 min. myself next time. This did have a good flavor and was quick and easy.
Easy Spanish Rice

2 cups water
2 cups instant brown rice
1 envelope enchilada sauce mix
1 cup picante sauce

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in rice and sauce mix. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in picante sauce. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ham and Broccoli Frittata

I made this for dinner because DH was working and he's no fan of broccoli. I love breakfast for dinner and although the kids wouldn't touch it, I enjoyed it.

Ham and Broccoli Frittata

6 eggs
1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
1 tablespoon butter


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 cup cheese, ham and pepper; set aside. In a 10-in. ovenproof skillet, saute broccoli in butter until tender. Reduce heat; add egg mixture. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes or until nearly set.

Uncover skillet; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Yield: 4 servings.

Overnight Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

I just pulled these out of the oven. These are amazingly simple to make so I make them often. They're just as good at room temp as they are hot from the oven and you MUST have coffee. That's the icing in the cake!

Overnight Caramel Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg butterscotch cook and serve pudding -- DO NOT USE INSTANT!
1 pkg frozen bread dough balls
Lightly grease bottom and sides of bundt or angel food pan.
Place 18-20 frozen bread balls in pan -- cut back on the number if the bread balls fill the pan more than 1/2 way.
Sprinkle entire pkg of butterscotch pudding over the bread balls.
Melt together remaining ingredients in microwave. Drizzle over the bread balls. Set on counter overnight.
The next morning bake at 350 degrees for 23-30 minutes.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were good. The gooey part comes in when you're trying to roll them in your hands into balls. Blech. Very, very sticky dough. They cook up quick and they're tasty.

Gooey Chocolate Cookies

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz) chocolate cake mix
1-2 cups chocolate chips and chunks of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add cake mix and mix well (dough will be sticky).
Using a melon ball scoop, scoop dough on ungreased baking sheets, flatten slightly with fingers. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 9-11 minutes or until tops are set and cracked. Cool for 2 min. before removing from pans to wire racks.

* The original recipe calls for chilling for 2 hours and rolling into balls, but when using a scoop, this is not needed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tangy Pork Chop Stuffing Bake

Yummy! This is on the sweet side. I think it makes a nice balance between the pork chops and stuffing. I love this with steamed broccoli.

Tangy Pork Chop Stuffing Bake
6 bone-in pork chops (3-1/2 lb.) (I used boneless)
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Pork
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Cook chops in skillet on medium heat 5 min. on each side or until browned on both sides. Meanwhile, prepare stuffing in large saucepan as directed on package.
PLACE chops in 13x9-inch baking dish; set aside. Mix cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar. Add to stuffing; mix lightly. Spoon evenly over chops.
BAKE 30 min. or until chops are cooked through (160ºF).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grandma's Honey Muffins

It doesn't matter who's Grandma came up with these sweet little darlings, they're delicious!
Grandma’s Honey Muffins

2 cups
1/2 cup
3 teaspoons
baking powder
1/2 teaspoon
1 cup
1/4 cup
butter, melted
1/4 cup
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and honey; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three-fourts full. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.

Marinated Ham Steaks

MMMMMMM this was sooo good, flavorful and juicy! I baked them in the oven instead of using the grill which I personally find dries out ham steaks. I also marinated this over night which I think added to the flavor through out the ham.

Marinated Ham Steaks
1/2 cup
ginger ale
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup packed
brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons
white vinegar
1 teaspoon
ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon
ground cloves
4 individual boneless fully cooked
ham steaks (about 5 ounces each)
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first eight ingredients. Add ham steaks; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Prepare grill for indirect heat. Drain and discard marinade. Grill ham, covered, over indirect medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until heated through.

Julia Child be damned

Welcome to my food blog. I decided to start this blog to keep track of all the recipes that I'm trying. I liked the idea of keeping my complaining and eating separate. You'll still find bitchy 'ole me here but a girls gotta eat ya know.